Abusive Relationships Are Real Things, But They Always Look Normal When You're In One

Abusive Relationships Are Real Things, But They Always Look Normal When You're In One

Sometimes your biggest pain can be disguised behind the loveliest bouquets

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As a college student, I have a million things on my mind. Homework? Studying? Fitting in time to go to the gym? Social life? What am I going to do with my life? And lastly, at the back of every girls' mind (whether she likes it or not), when will I find "The One"? This is a pressure that is unnecessarily felt by thousands of girls (and guys!), and certainly doesn't help with all of the other things we have to think about that are… a bit more important right now!

Once you begin to tackle the process of finding a significant other, you face many obstacles, and not every situation may work out in your favor. Sure, there may be times when you get stood-up, shed a couple tears, and spend a little too much time overthinking a witty, yet breezy, yet flirty text to send to your crush in your Business class; but one thing that should never be a part of this process is emotional or physical abuse.

Many people may shrug off the legitimacy of emotional abuse because there are no bruises, no cuts to see. I am here to tell all of you, emotional abuse is a very REAL and very COMMON thing. Being taken advantage of, bullied, taunted, or scared of your significant other is not something that should be seen as normal. Ever. But for many people, the sad reality is that they begin to believe that this is what love is. I am here to tell you, it is not.

You quickly start to realize, after leaving a toxic relationship, just how abnormal things really were. Anxiety which was brought upon me in a past relationship was something I saw as normal: Who DOESN'T have to compulsively check their Snapchat and Messages to see who their other half is with, what they are doing, if they are ignoring you… right? Wrong.

After recently going through a major self-improvement bout, I have begun to realize what a healthy relationship looks like. A healthy relationship doesn't necessarily look like flowers, expensive jewelry, fancy dates, and Instagram-worthy posts of you and your beau. A healthy relationship is a shoulder to cry on when you are hopeless, a hand to hold while sitting in church on a Sunday morning, getting a funny Twitter post from him/her just because "it made them think of you", and a vanilla milkshake when you have a fever. It isn't always the "cute" moments that make a relationship special, it's the messy moments.

The person who you know you can count on to lift you up, not helplessly pull you down. The person who will stay up into the wee hours of the morning to help you with a critical essay you have been stressing over, or flash cards for a big test. That is the person you want to hold close.

It is hard to believe that just 10 months ago, I thought a person like this didn't exist. I thought that love meant pain, meant sadness, meant loneliness, most of all, I thought love would always be something unrequited. Today, I am proven wrong. Not only by my considerate and funny boyfriend but by my incredible, uplifting, kind friends and family.

I write to you as someone who has found her way back on track. Love (rather, what you think love is) can cause you to wear INTENSELY rose-colored glasses, which is painful but true. For those of you trapped in an unhealthy relationship, there will be brighter days ahead.

All it takes is one helping hand to lead you towards true happiness, one person to change your whole perspective of love. Sure, a bouquet of sunflowers is always my favorite surprise, but I will never again let it shield me from the pain behind those sunny colored petals. Because now, I finally know how it feels to be loved.

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To The Guy Who Treated Me Like Crap

In many ways, I feel bad that you could never see how amazing I am.
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Dear (insert guy's name here),

I’m sorry that I acted as your footstool for so long. You treated me terribly, and for some reason, I couldn’t see that. I only saw you as someone who liked me and wanted to be with me (at least, that’s what I thought). I was like a little puppy dog following you around, completely loving and loyal. I was always waiting for you to text me, posting Snapchat stories for the sole purpose of knowing you would see them and always hoping you would come around when I was out with my friends so I could show you off.

No matter how hard I wanted us to work out, I now realize it never would have.

You weren’t right for me because you treated me like I was your inferior. You were always talking to other girls, flirting with them, and treating me like a child. You were so selfish. Only doing what you wanted and coming around when you felt like it and taking advantage of me. You made me feel crazy when I got mad at you for all the little things. I was so caught up in you that I tried to ignore all of the signals right in front of me.

You just weren’t right for me.

I now know that the right guy for me is the one who respects me and chooses me over everyone else. The guy who never makes me feel insane for questioning something, the guy who understands when he’s done something wrong and can live with the consequences. You just simply couldn’t provide that for me. In many ways, I feel bad that you could never see how amazing I am.

While I may have been so upset when our relationship ended, it made me realize who I am and what I deserve. I deserve so much more than someone putting in 50 percent. I deserve an endless amount of respect and communication. Putting in your all for a relationship when they can’t do the same is not healthy and it’s childish. I hope someday you can find a girl that you can love infinitely but I take a lot of pride in knowing that girl won’t be me. I may be single for a really long time or I may find the one tomorrow, either way, I have so much hope that one day someone can give me their all and make me feel incredible.

For now, I’m done wasting my time on guys like you who make me feel miserable.

Sincerely,
The One Who Got Away

Cover Image Credit: Trinity Kubassek

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Thanks To The Jonas Brothers, I Never Regret Not Dating A Teenage Boy

Ya'll made it drama free.

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All thanks to three guys from New Jersey, I never regret not having a boyfriend in Middle or High School. I started listening to the Jonas Brothers when I was in 6th grade. I was awkward, I wanted to fit in simply because I was the minority in my mostly white school district. I also wanted to feel more independent since I was reaching the ripe age of 13.

Eventually, certain things came to me where I was able to gain that independence. I had no problem talking to certain adults simply because I would just be myself, and they would have absolutely no issue with it. Then came Nick, Kevin, and Joe. They already had one album out called 'It's About Time', and too contrary belief became a classic for them to date. Eventually, as they made their approach to the Disney Channel, their popularity increased more and more. Soon enough, everyone knew of them. Even if they didn't even listen to their music, they still knew about them.

I was what you called the stereotypical 'fangirl.' I was overly protective of them whenever I would hear any guy in school call them 'gay' 'ugly' or 'untalented'. In fact, I'm very thankful that social media was not as big yet. I could not imagine going off as much as I would imagine. But there were other ways to vent. I still had some of my friends relate, but even with that, a good portion of them would tell me to stop being obsessed with them. But that only allowed my obsession to grow.

Everything that they did was a news update for me. I had to keep up with them ALL the time, no matter what the condition was. I had to know what they were doing every single day. Okay, not to a point of stalking but you get the picture. My point is that no other boy mattered at the time other than them. Joe was my favorite one so I had to keep up with him the most. Especially when he was dating someone. Yes, I will admit that some of Joe's exes were not my favorite, yet I shipped the hell out of the other ones. But I will say now that as a grown woman I am no longer interfering with his relationship. I was always wondering what it would be like to even go on a date around that age.

I never went on one considering how weird teenage boys truly are. Some of them want a girlfriend simply just to have one, and others just had their hormones go all nuts. The reason why I wasn't heavy on dating during that time was simply that I was trying to focus on myself and who I truly was. I did not want to deal with any of the drama that came with a relationship because I had a lot more than I needed to worry about.

Yes, did I want a guy that I thought was hot to date me of course! But it turns out looking back on it, I'm grateful that I decided to not give him the time of day. Considering that nowadays he's not exactly the right person to be with anyway. Even in general, I'm glad I never had to worry about fighting with another girl about another guy. A total complete waste of time, and not worth sacrificing anything.

I realized that there was so much more to life than just having a guy like you. Even if you did get those weird feelings every time he was around. Also if it was the other way around where a guy liked you, and you just didn't like him back. What a complicated web the teenage years hold. But back to the Jo-Bros. I'm grateful that these guys were in my life because it distracted me from the realities of how teenage boys truly are. You know, the ones that don't sing to you and tell you-you're beautiful every five seconds.

I'm grateful for all the memories that I had with these guys, especially making endless books and PowerPoint presentations on why I loved them so much. Although I'll still keep up with them once in a blue moon, it doesn't mean that I'll forget my first love. Just because I'm not in a room where they've plastered all over the walls anymore, doesn't mean that I didn't cherish those times when I would beg my mom to get me the latest teen magazine. If they were not in it, I didn't want it! Plain and simple everyone remembers their first teen crush. But I'm grateful that these three brothers allowed me to not get distracted by the teen dating scene. Also, I think it helped out my father as well.

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